Photos by: Ben Yalom
How far would you go to wake up?

A black comedy
Written by Sheila Callaghan
Directed by Ben Yalom

September 7-23, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – FoolsFURY, “one of the brightest stars of the San Francisco experimental theater scene,” (SF Arts Monthly) returns to the stage with its most ambitious project to date, the world premiere of Port Out, Starboard Home, a black comedy developed in collaboration with playwright Sheila Callaghan and directed by foolsFURY Artistic Director Ben Yalom.

Debórah Eliezer: Caroline
Brian Livingston: Johnny O
Josiah Polhemus: Blake
Amy Prosser: Maya
Angela Santillo: Gayle
Calder Shilling: Gary
Jessica Unker: Daria
Benj Stuber: Mack

Development partners:
Playwrights Foundation (San Francisco)
New Dramatists (New York)

Producing partners:
Z Space (San Francisco)
La Mama etc. (New York)

Dan Stratton: Set Design
Patrick Kaliski: Sound Design
Lucas Krech: Lighting Design
Benj Stuber: Costume Design
Erika Chong Shuch: Choreography
Debórah Eliezer: Movement
Scott Horstein: Dramaturgy
Jonathan Spectre: Dramaturgy
Benj Stuber: Costumes

Wes Newfarmer : Stage Manager
Gregg Hood: Production Manager
Rob Oakley: Technical Director
Devin Kasper: Assistant Technical Director
Lila Mullins: Production Assistant


P.O.S.H. takes place aboard a cruise ship and opens with an announcement from its cruise director that the conventional rules of time and place no longer pertain. “Throw away your watches” and forget your

place of national origin, “for here you are an honorary citizen of the Crown of the Seas!” he blithely proclaims. Thus begins a three-day journey for an eclectic group of vacationers who, untethered from everyday responsibilities, become enmeshed in a mysterious and disturbing ritual.

With about a dozen critically acclaimed, full-length plays under her belt – in addition to a handful of prestigious fellowships and awards, including a 2007 Whiting Award – Sheila Callaghan is a “hot commodity” (The New York Times). Marie Claire recently profiled Callaghan as “the next Wendy Wasserstein.” And thanks in part to her successful turn as a writer for the Showtime series (The United States of Tara, Variety magazine named her to its list of “10 screenwriters to watch” in 2010.

Callaghan’s plays have been called “sophisticated” and “gutsy”, “raunchy” and “literate”, and her audiences have come to expect a mix of social commentary and comedy. P.O.S.H. , a script she developed for – and with – the folks at foolsFURY, an ensemble specializing in avant garde, physical theater, delivers on this count. The play weaves together dialogue and dance – the choreography is by Erika Chong Shuch – to explore the temporary space of a luxury cruise vacation which is, it turns out, an ideal setting for confronting our most primal fears and selves. P.O.S.H. offers a surreal view of a pampered society accustomed to purchasing piña coladas and spiritual bliss with the same swipe of the credit card.

“The process of developing P.O.S.H. has been a remarkable and unusual collaboration between playwright and ensemble,” says Yalom. “From taking a three-day cruise to Mexico where we interviewed both guests and crew members – and became very familiar with the Mai Tais – to a bicoastal series of workshops with one set of actors and designers in San Francisco and another set in New York, P.O.S.H. has evolved as a creature belonging in equal parts to Sheila’s chutzpah and creativity and foolsFURY’s highly physical aesthetic.”

FoolsFURY’s recent works include Monster in the Dark, The Devil On All Sides, and Turn of the Screw. The ensemble has won a GOLDIE award from the San Francisco Bay Guardian and the distinction of “Best Theater Company” from SF Weekly. FoolsFURY also produces a biennial festival of ensemble theater called FURY Factory which spotlights performing artists from around the Bay Area and the world. The company is committed to creating groundbreaking, visceral performances that inspire audiences and artists to reconsider and reconnect with the world around them.

P.O.S.H. is a co-commission of foolsFURY and the Playwrights Foundation and was developed in collaboration with Playwrights Foundation and New Dramatists (NYC).

About Sheila Callaghan
Sheila Callaghan’s plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwright’s Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The LARK, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, Woolly Mammoth, and Rattlestick Playwright’s Theatre, among others. Sheila is the recipient of the Princess Grace Award for emerging artists, a Jerome Fellowship from the Playwright’s Center in Minneapolis, a MacDowell Residency, a Cherry Lane Mentorship Fellowship, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and the prestigious Whiting Award. Her plays have been produced internationally in New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Germany, Portugal, and the Czech Republic. These include Scab, Crawl Fade To White, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), We Are Not These Hands, Dead City, Lascivious Something, Kate Crackernuts, That Pretty Pretty; Or, The Rape Play, Fever/Dream, Everything You Touch, Roadkill Confidential, and Women Laughing Alone With Salad. She is published with and Samuel French, and several of her collected works are published with Counterpoint Press. She has taught playwriting at Columbia University, The University of Rochester, The College of New Jersey, Florida State University, and Spalding University. Callaghan is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie winning playwright’s organization 13P. She is also a resident of New Dramatists. In 2010, Callaghan was profiled by Marie Claire as one of “18 Successful Women Who Are Changing the World.” She was also named one of Variety magazine’s “10 Screenwriters to Watch” of 2010.

About foolsFURY & Ben Yalom
FoolsFURY, founded in 1998 by Artistic Director Ben Yalom, is a physically oriented theater ensemble based in San Francisco. Under Yalom’s leadership, foolsFURY has recently been hailed as San Francisco’s “Best Theater Company” (2008) by the SF Weekly, “one of the brightest stars of the San Francisco experimental theater scene” (SF Arts Monthly), and awarded the GOLDIE award by the SF Bay Guardian. Yalom has directed many foolsFURY productions including the world premiere of Monster in the Dark, the US premiere of Fabrice Melquiot’s The Devil on All Sides (which he also translated), Don DeLillo’s Valparaiso, the West Coast premiere of Martin Crimp’s seminal avant-garde work Attempts on Her Life, and others. In 2005 he directed the controversial musical Bangers’ Flopera with Inverse Theater in the New York Fringe Festival and the New York Musicals Festival (”One of the top three musicals of the NY Fringe” American Theater Web; “Outstanding New Musical” (Talkin Broadway, Summer 2005 citations). With San Francisco’s Traveling Jewish Theatre he directed Naomi Newman’s award-winning one-woman show Fall Down Get Up. Yalom has also worked with A.C.T., the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, the Magic Theatre, Playground, the Aurora Theatre, and Encore Theatre (San Francisco), and Théâtre Ange Magnétique (Paris). He teaches both playwriting and physical performance at California College of the Arts. He has also taught at the Lee Strasberg Institute (NYU/Tisch) in 2009, the La MaMa Umbria Director’s Symposium, Stanford University, Vassar College, and the Berkeley Rep School of Theater. Yalom holds an MFA from the renowned Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and his fiction, essays and translations of plays have appeared in magazines nationwide. His play The Strange Case of the Jensen Files was produced as part of the 2005 FURY Factory festival of ensemble theater.